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How to Maximize the Space of Your Rental Property

image4.jpgMany landlords and other property owners try all sorts of methods to increase the value of their property. It’s always advisable to do so as you can receive some excellent returns for minimal effort. The same goes for the space in your property. There are many methods that you can use, many of which amount to fairly simple tricks that are always effective for renters. Let’s take a good look at the best of them to enable you to maximize the amount of space your property has and thus increase your earnings Hanging Things on the Wall One of the main ways renters and others use to maximize the space of their property is to hang anything they can on the walls to free up the floor space. The thing about this idea is that it’s quite easy to do and yet it’s so effective. Many things can be mounted – from smaller worktops to lights, nightstands, and much more. That way you won’t only effectively maximize space, but you’ll also make the property appear much bigger. Less Space for Beds Beds are an essential aspect of every rental, but they also might clog areas. The bigger beds are more attractive to your potential tenants, but there will be less space for other furniture. Keep the size in proper comparison to the room space, so it doesn’t hamper the flow of the area. You require a massive area for a king-sized bed. The solutions here are several: Murphy beds – many of which are quite mode......
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Considering Concessions? Think about Eliminating Deposits Instead

Considering Concessions? Think about Eliminating Deposits Instead
When the market softens and vacancies begin to rise, apartment operators traditionally turn to lease concessions. Whether they take the form of discounted rent or gifts such as a free iPad or a free television, the goal of concessions is the same: boost occupancy.But while concessions do have the benefit of decreasing vacancy rates, they can cause their fair share of trouble down the road including increased out of pocket expenses or even devaluing a property. Instead of offering concessions, operators should consider boosting occupancy by permanently doing away with security deposits.The Current ClimateMultifamily has been on a roll for the last decade. Rents soared while vacancies were sliced razor-thin. But the market has softened recently as new development has increased. And where there is a lot of new construction, there are bound to be lease concessions. This past spring, RealPage noted that rental concessions are particularly prevalent in the 15 markets with the most new supply.In September, Doug Ressler, director of business intelligence with research firm Yardi Matrix, told National Real Estate Investor that concessions are now present in all 133 apartment markets tracked by the company.Concessions could increase in the months ahead. In the National Multifamily Housing Council's most recent quarterly survey of CEOs and other senior executives of apartment-related firms, the survey's Market Tightness Index was 41. A reading below 50 indicates that market conditions are getting looser.The Problems with ConcessionsWhen you're in the midst of a softening market and you see more and more units sitting unoccupied,......
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The Supply and Demand Sides of Short Term Rentals

iStock-484711826  Sometimes new technologies and strategies change the way that we do business. More frequently, though, things that have worked in one industry find their way into other sectors, leading to fresh innovation. In multifamily, it is often the hotel industry that supplies some of the most plausible new ways to sell, market and deliver the experiences that define our industry. In the weeks since OPTECH 2018, there has been much discussion about short-term rentals. An array of vendors has emerged across the value chain - from apps that make it easy to rent out your apartment to platforms that run entire apartment buildings as if they were hotels. Demand for short-term rentals is growing rapidly, and business models are changing as we see shifts in both the demand and supply sides of the business. A few years ago I wrote a piece for Multifamily Insiders on the rise of Apartments.com and the parallels I saw with the growth of the Online Travel Agents (OTAs) like Expedia and Priceline and their impact on the hotel industry. At the time, an unprecedented escalation in spending on apartment marketing was raising the profile of the sector (including buying ad spots in the Superbowl!). Multifamily Internet Listing Sites (ILSs) seemed to be taking greater control of the customer. As I argued, it reminded me of the dynamic in the lodging sector, where OTAs had developed a value proposition that competed with traditional hotel companies and their websites. Since I wrote that piece, the ILSs have consolidated further, ......
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10 Step Guide to Marketing Lease-Ups

Lease Ups"Build it and they will come" isn't the makings of a great lease-up marketing strategy. In today's modern multifamily landscape, you need to have an online presence. Established communities benefit from better search rankings, reviews, real imagery and a social media presence. In this ten step guide, I'll cover the ten important steps your community can take to develop an online presence, compete with established communities, and reach sustainability. Step 1: Create a Brand When creating a brand identity for a community, it is important to consider what your unique value proposition is and who will be the most attracted to it. Start with a renter in mind. Imagine what the experience will be like when a prospect tours your community, signs a lease, moves in, and lives in your community. Why will this person choose to live in your community instead of your competitors? Do they think about the style of your interiors, the new location they have access to, or the people they plan to invite to the rooftop lounge for drinks? Put it into words. Think of two or three words or phrases that encompass what life will be like in your community. Luxurious & Tech Savvy Active Lifestyle, Near Nature & Pet-Friendly Eclectic, Expressive & Exciting Family Friendly, Convenient & Safe Once you know what you want your brand to represent and who you are attracting, you’ll need to develop brand elements and materials. Start with developing a name, imagery, font styles, copy and logos that match your brand. Ma......
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4 Consistent Habits That Led Me To My Multifamily Dream Job

4 Consistent Habits That Led Me To My Multifamily Dream Job
When I started in the multifamily industry nearly twenty years ago as a leasing consultant, I wanted more. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited about the opportunity before me and knew I had a lot to learn. But I was also hungry to get to the next level.   In fact, during my new hire orientation, I told the Marketing and Training Director that my goal was to get her job. Yes, it would take time for me to get myself into a role like that, but it gave me something to work towards.   It fueled me. For the next two years, I worked at my community, diligently trying to close every lease and renew every resident. I constantly listened to my recorded leasing calls, searching for ways I could improve my telephone performance. I pounded the pavement in the neighborhood, visiting local businesses, trying to build a trusted relationship with them that would lead to referrals.   I coordinated meetings with the service team and my manager, with a desire to learn more about their niches of the business. I attended every internal class my company offered and took detailed notes. I would come back to my property, and put what I learned into action.   My company moved me from site to site, challenging me to solve the most complex leasing and occupancy problems, and I seemed to be fairly good at getting community performance back on track.   And then the time came. The Marketing and T......
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A 'Humans + Machines' Virtuous Cycle in Multifamily

Introduction Automation is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately in multifamily (a lot of times by yours truly: See exhibit A).  Furthermore, I have pushed the idea of a 'Humans + Machines' workforce where humans and machines work together to create new workflows, but that is just the beginning. Adding a digital workforce to work alongside your team is the basis for a virtuous cycle of success. From increased NOI to attracting more owners to managing more properties, the digital workforce can change multifamily's economics.     What is a Virtuous Cycle? A ‘Virtuous Cycle’ is when one success leads to another, and then another, in a repeating loop. Before we jump into the Multifamily Virtuous Cycle, let’s take a look at Netflix’s Virtuous Cycle.     Netflix Virtuous Cycle Here is the Netflix Virtuous Cycle as explained by Netflix CFO David Wells:     Let’s break it down. Netflix invests in producing more shows. With more shows there is more variety, which means there are more watchers. More watchers means more talkers. This leads to more subscribers. More subscribers generate more revenue. With more revenue, Netflix can invest in more shows. And the cycle continues. As you can see, the cycle fuels itself for future success. By creating more shows, Netflix will set off a chain of events leading to more revenue. As long as Netflix keeps investing in new shows, the cycle will continue. So now that you have seen a Virtuous Cycle, let’s explore how a digital wor......
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For Leasing Consultants Who Sell Value, Fluctuating Rental Rates Can Cause Massive Headaches

For Leasing Consultants Who Sell Value, Fluctuating Rental Rates Can Cause Massive Headaches
I have always been a value seller, in that I justify the cost of an item by showing all the value that the person will get out of it.  So when I was leasing apartments, if the rent was $1,000, then there must be $1,000 (or more) of value that we are providing in order for me to be confident in my sales approach.  However, as different pricing strategies came into play which resulted in constantly fluctuating rental rates, it really threw me for a loop.  I’m guessing that there are others who struggle with this same issue, so hopefully this helps! Let’s say that a certain 1 bedroom floor plan two months ago rented at $1,000/mo, but since then, the supply of 1 bedrooms has gone down, and also the market rates in the area have turned up, so now that same apartment rents at $1,100.  The challenge for me was that nothing had fundamentally changed in my idea of “value”.  The amenities hadn’t changed.  The level of customer service, although great, hadn’t really changed.  It was essentially the same apartment and living experience as it was two months ago, and yet it was more expensive.  From a practical perspective, I understood what was driving the price up, but I was having trouble being as confident in an apartment that was more expensive even though nothing had really changed with its “value”.  Now, not everyone will have issues with this value conundrum, as people sell in different ways, but for those who happe......
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Spotlight Interview: Linda Early on Landing Her First Job And The Future Of The Multifamily Industry

Linda Early Head shotSuccess equals talent plus luck. No one knows this more than Linda Early. Linda got her first gig in the multifamily industry by chance (otherwise known as sisterly persuasion) after graduating with a Biology degree from James Madison University. Years later, she established herself as a vice president for Archstone. Then, came AvalonBay Communities. Today, Linda is a vice president with Brookfield Properties Corporation - and she has a lot to say on not just where she’s been, but where she - and the industry - are going.    How long have you been working in the multifamily industry?  I’ve worked in the multifamily industry since 1994. After I graduated from college, I stayed with my sister before figuring out whether or not I wanted to go to grad school. But at one point, my sister had enough of me sitting on the couch and told me, “Hey, they need somebody in the office of this complex. You should check this out and get a job.”   What happened next?  I started as a leasing consultant at a 1000-unit property with Charles E. Smith Residential. It was something I really didn’t even know you could have a career in. Even though data and research was something that I was interested in, I’m more of a people person and I liked working with teams. So, I just kind of started and never really looked back.    You worked at Archstone for nearly two decades. Why did you stay so long?  The customers were the focus of the decision-making. The company truly focused on making things better for them. But also, you were able to try things at Archstone - and you were able to f......
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5 Smart Strategies To Attract New Tenants

image7.jpgWhen you decide to put your property up for rent, you have to be super smart about who you are renting the unit to, and for how long. Even so, the market today is tough, and the competition pretty strong. So, what are you to do when you want to avoid problem renters, attract new, great tenants and encourage them to rent your property? There may be a few things you should consider: Neat as a New Pin Tenants will be attracted to a well-kept property that looks great and appears easy to maintain. Your property doesn’t have to be the best and most luxurious house on the block or in the street, but – as long as it’s well presented and has potential – you are good to go. How so? Because tenants don’t always look for never-before-lived-in apartments; usually, they’d go for units that merely “feel” right, look fresh and clean, and give them an impression of a home. So, before you put up your property for rent, organize an open house or bring in a professional photographer to snap photos of it, consider booking a cleaning agency to spruce up your place and make it sparkle! Don’t Force Your Tastes on Anyone There are plenty of positives and negatives of renting a property, and you want to be on top of your game. Renters don’t want anyone’s style imposed on them, so make sure your property features neutral colors, plain décor, and not too much furniture. You want the tenants to env......
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What Apartment Shoppers Want: 6 Expectations Your Property Website Should Meet

What Apartment Shoppers Want: 6 Expectations Your Property Website Should Meet
Are you in the process of developing or redesigning a new apartment website? Are you researching new tools to apply to an existing multifamily website? Regardless of where you are in the process, it’s critical to consider what apartment shoppers actually need from your digital leasing office.   Today, renters have lofty expectations when it comes to shopping for an apartment online. Gone are the days when property websites are simply being compared to other property websites. Instead, they are being compared to non-multifamily brands like Nordstrom and Amazon. These brands have mastered the online shopping experience, and they’ve done so by paying close attention to the behaviors their customers exhibit when searching, researching, deciding upon, engaging with, and ultimately initiating a transaction online. There is an art to crafting successful online customer interactions, and they’re the master painters.      When apartment shopping, the decision-making process is certainly more drawn out than it is when making lower cost, less risky online purchases. Prospective residents will likely visit more than just the apartment website when researching a property online. In fact, Google reports that, on average, a shopper uses 19.2 sources of information to make a real estate buying decision. Prospects will read online reviews, browse social media pages, and comb through the property’s Google My Business listing for key information. They’ll land on ILSs and paid advertisements. They may even land on the management company’s corporate website  - especially if you’re applying a portfolio leasing approach to search marketing.   However, a longer purchasing process means there is even more opportunity......
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